Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Beginning 456

As Sailoil's ship had brought new supplies, Barnabas had gone out to help the hobbits with the heavy lifting. Talpianna was minding the bar, calling out food orders, serving drinks, attempting to register the crowd of unexpected guests, and fuming.

She was angry with Dragonmama and Roland for their carryings-on.

She was angry with Julia, MD for the news that her Inn might be a source for contagion of Boglin's Bane.

She was angry with (and terrified for) Helen for going off on her own.

She was angry with the moles for letting Helen leave.

She was angry with Sailoil for disappearing.

Taking one consideration with another, Talpianna was not having a good day.

Mary-Fitz was helping out, in the interests of public safety as well as out of her naturally kind and practical nature. Stationed within easy grabbing distance of Tal's left wrist, she wondered if she could interest the Mistress of Moles in enrolling in the charm school she had seen advertised on a matchbook cover. She quietly greeted guests and handed out registration forms and keys, which the moles fetched back and forth. Mary-Fitz made a mental note to check the files before she left; the moles had many virtues, but knowledge of the alphabet was not one of them.

Suddenly the door was flung back against the wall of the draught lobby as a late arrival flourished his way in.

A well-groomed weasel with a pointy hat strode into the bar, skipping his way to the ceiling on gasps of "Randolph" transformed by a whoosh of his whiskers into levitating stepping stones.

"I need a dozen moles," he said, "stout and true, to burrow underneath Mordor and save Middle Earth - and I need them fast."

Tal poured herself a stiff tankard of gin, topping it up with Boglin antidote till the pewter began dissolving.

Now she was angry with Randolph, too.

She was angry at him for walking in without wiping his feet.

She was angry at him for not blowing her a kiss.

She was angry at him for destroying her favourite trollflesh chandelier with his hat.

Mary-Fitz ducked under her desk to avoid the stampede of eager moles and violently hurled Wyrmwear crockery.

"What's the big hurry?" Tal asked.

"At the rate Frodo and his team are moving," Randolph replied, "this'll end up running to a trilogy. And it's way past my bedtime already."

Opening: Talpianna.....Continuation: Whirlochre


Anonymous said...

Author's note: From an interminable collaborative work of fiction that began on the SF&F boards, with characters invented by various and sundry. THIS Talpianna is a Sassanid sorceress who works magic with her left hand and with handkerchiefs, and keeps moles. She recently bought a half interest in the Inn Between Realms, the setting and the title of this opus. Sailoil is an interdimensional trader; Barnabas is the innkeeper; Helen is her ward.

Evil Editor said...

Even knowing who the characters are, it's hard to comment on what I assume is not an opening, as we don't know where Helen went, what Dragonmama and Roland are carrying on about, who the unexpected guests are, etc.

The writing is good, nice touch of humor. I'd read on . . . and apparently already have.

Dave Fragments said...

I like this. It's has possibilities...

Talpianna never had good Mondays and this Monday was sinking to a new low. Captain Sailoil's ship arrived with unexpected guests and freight. The Hobbits couldn't handle the big freight so Barnabas left Talpianna to take food orders, serve drinks, register the guests and marshall the rest of the hired help at the Between Realms Inn.

Complicating her task, Dragonmama and ROland were still not speaking, except for the tourette's-like curses they uttered at each other, "Me-Doctor" Julia informed Tal that the Inne might be the source of the Boglin's Bane, an itchy-scratchy underwear fungus. And the moles let Helen leave on her own. Talpianna told them she wanted to talk to Helen but they just let her leave.

Monday was sinking deep into the vast cesspool of bad, bad, bad, and really stinky days.

I was thinking in slightly earthier terms like: lower than the lowest whale turd at the bottom of the Mariannas Trench to describe a shitty day, but I fantasy usually doesn't have those expressions. Giant piles of mole droppings would fit into the story. And fantasy worlds wouldn't know about Itchy and Scratchy.

writtenwyrdd said...

I was a bit too confused with this one. Couldn't follow the antics.

Whirlochre said...

Noting Tal's comment, I set the various 'she was' lines aside as unwitnessed plot.

Happy, then, to go with go with the Mary-Fitz POV, and as the proud ex-owner of two long-dead hamsters, I appreciate the alphabet joke.

Rodents know fuck all, except in fiction - and there begins the fun.

talpianna said...

It was a lot better before EE took out most of the good stuff. I'd not have submitted it if I'd realized the word limit.

Since this is a serial, there are repeated new beginnings. This is a bit in medias res, but it would have been much clearer if the rest of it hadn't been cut by an insensitive editor.

BTW, what Roland and Dragonmama have been doing has been having wild anthroposaurian/hero sex for about a week, nonstop.

Unsubmitted continuation:

A tall and handsome man entered, clad in a black cloak with a crimson lining. He was distinguished by a magnificent set of muttonchop whiskers.

Approaching the counter, he smiled irresistibly at Talpianna. She blushed in confusion.

"Do you want a room for the night or for the week?"

"Fair one, I want nothing so mundane. I want rather to change your life."

Everyone in the Inn stopped to listen. It was like one big E.F. Hutton commercial.

The handsome stranger reached under his cloak and drew forth four slim, colorfully bound volumes. "You may purchase, for an absurdly modest price, the fruits of my encyclopedic knowledge...."

"ENCYCLOPEDIC???" Tal slammed her left hand down on the bell atop the desk. "ENCYCLOPEDIA SALESMAN!" she yelled.

Before Mary-Fitz, the heroes, or any of the other patrons could move, innumerable moles swarmed over the counter and fastened their jaws on the hapless stranger. His shrieks soon faded to faint moans, and eventually there was silence in the Inn.

Except for the sound of....munching.

talpianna said...

By the way, Whirlochre, there are no rodents present. We moles are insectivores, and the intercalary weasel is a mustelid.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yeah, the good stuff was the other stuff. Right.